By the end of this week, the embryo will more than double its length, growing from approximately 4 to 5 millimeters to 11 to 13 millimeters. It is now about the size of a raspberry. The head is disproportionately larger than the rest of the body, and dark spots mark where the eyes and nostrils will be. The forebrain has divided into the two parts that make up the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, where as many as 100 nerve cells are created each minute.
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This week, you'll probably go in for your first prenatal checkup with an obstetrician or midwife, who will discuss your medical history--including any previous pregnancies and diseases or genetic disorders that might run in either family--determine your due date, and begin to chart your weight gain. She will also take some blood for routine lab tests--blood type, STDs, rubella immunity, and complete blood count to check for anemia. And you may also be given a pelvic exam and perhaps a transvaginal ultrasound, which is safe and painless, to check on the embryo. This is your chance to ask any questions you have about the pregnancy. Start your list now and take it with you, in case you get distracted once you are there.
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Do's and Don'ts
Do try to meet each obstetrician or midwife at your clinic sometime in the next six months so that if you go into labor and your regular health care practitioner isn't on call, your baby won't be delivered by a complete stranger. If your doctor has a solo practice, ask what happens if she's out of town or unavailable, and make a plan to meet her backup.
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